An investment worth nearly $18 million in the Aldergrove border crossing is being applauded by the BC Trucking Association (BCTA).
The federal government has pledged to improve the facility by adding primary inspection lanes (PILs), including a dedicated NEXUS lane, building a larger traveler processing facility, constructing a commercial examination warehouse and developing a supporting infrastructure for commercial vehicles. Aldergrove is one of three cross-border truck routes between Lower Mainland British Columbia and Western Washington State.
“We are extremely pleased that the government has recognized the value of Aldergrove to cross-border trade along with the Pacific Highway crossing and Huntingdon in Abbotsford,” said BCTA president and CEO Louise Yako.
“Because Aldergrove was originally designed as a crossing for passenger cars, there was an understandable tendency to ‘stick with the program’ in terms of envisioning its future. But with input from our members and the local business community, the ministry realized the opportunity to support and enhance trade via land border ports in the region.”
Since August 2010, commercial vehicle traffic at Aldergrove has been restricted to local area carriers who are granted a Letter of Authorization to use the port, while the government assessed the feasibility of constructing a new facility. The BCTA has confirmed that letter holders will be allowed access to the port during the construction phase.
Limiting access to Aldergrove has put additional pressure on the two neighboring commercial ports: Pacific Highway and Huntingdon. In total, commercial truck volumes (both north and southbound) at all three ports increased 11 percent between 2009 and 2012 (the most recent year statistics are available).
The $17.7 million infrastructure improvement project at Aldergrove is expected to be completed in early 2016.